Substance Abuse: Crisis Intervention

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Substance abuse: Crisis intervention To the outsider, the lives of substance abusers often look like a series of crises 'waiting to happen.' Often, the extent to which substance abuse is causing devastation in the life of the sufferer is more manifest to outsiders such as friends or relatives than the abuser him or herself. Crises relating to substance abuse may be biologically-related (such as a medical crisis brought about by abuse); legally related (a conviction for abusing an illegal drug, drug-dealing, or DWI); or psychologically-related (the abuser seeks treatment for another psychological condition, such as depression, which is caused by the abuse or for which the abuser is using the substance as a form of self-medication) (Kanel 2011: 221). Regardless, a crisis can actually be a fruitful opportunity to precipitate change in an abuser's life. Because drug abusers are often very ambivalent about giving up abusing drugs, it may take a crisis for the user to hit 'rock bottom.' Biologically-related crises due to substance abuse may encompass dramatic events such as seizures, heart attacks and strokes due to overdoses (Kanel 2011: 221). Each drug has its own particular dangers related to use. Drugs can also cause people to act in ways that are dangerous, doing things which they might not under other circumstances, such as driving recklessly. Users may also combine drugs. The more someone uses, the more likely he or she will have to increase the level of the dose, to
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